A good start by Mike Foltynewicz went to waste almost immediately after he exited the game. Arodys Vizcaino entered in the bottom of the eighth inning and promptly gave up two consecutive home runs to the Phillies, and then Ian Krol entered and he gave up a dinger as well. A 2-2 game became 5-2, and that’s how the Braves lost their sixth straight game.
The Braves called up Aaron Blair last week so that he could be used as a long relief man in case a game scenario came to that point. Things never reached that point, and Blair eventually got sent back down to the G-Braves. His replacement on the roster is none other than Matt Wisler, who will probably be used as a long reliever as well for as long as his current stint in the majors lasts.
Meanwhile, Dansby Swanson’s struggles have understandably led the Braves to tinker with their lineup a bit. Right now, it appears that Brandon Phillips is going to be taking over responsibilities in the second spot in the lineup, but for a while the team went with Adonis Garcia in that role. Combine that with his struggles against right-handed pitching and it’s very clear that this was not a good idea. Zach Dillard wrote about it in his latest edition of Three Cuts for Fox Sports South.
The “Ride The Hot Bat” approach does not hold water here: Garcia is hitting .150/.190/.217 against right-handers in 2017. Throwing a player with that track record into one of the two most important positions in the lineup is guaranteed to undercut offensive production in the long run. (Garcia hitting second against southpaws is another conversation entirely.) Platooning him with the likes of Jace Peterson or, perhaps later this summer, third-base prospect Rio Ruiz would be a much sounder strategy moving forward.
Six hundred and eight career plate appearances says there is no saving Adonis Garcia against same-sided pitching.
Are the Braves going to call up Ozzie Albies this week?
Ozzie Albies will not be joining the Braves in NYC this week. Shouldn't expect him in the Majors before June. Aug. or Sept are more likely https://t.co/Ufx8LTHofb— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 23, 2017
Back on Friday night, Dustin Pedroia had to leave the game between the Red Sox and Orioles after Manny Machado slid into him at second base. For all intents and purposes, it seemed like an honest mistake on Machado’s part.
Fast forward to Sunday, and apparently Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes disagreed, because he went headhunting for Machado and got promptly ejected. Our friends at Camden Chat weren’t pleased at all with this.
Barnes was ejected immediately for this blatant, pathetic attempt at headhunting. Both managers ended up coming onto the field, but the dugouts and bullpens did not empty.
The result of the pitch was actually a foul ball. You can see the ball hit his bat, not where you expect a foul ball usually, but that’s the way it goes. Machado got his own revenge of a sort by crushing an RBI double over the head of Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to conclude the plate appearance - the first Orioles run in the game. This was the first pitch thrown by the new reliever, Joe Kelly.
Although Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to protest the ejection, the intent of the pitch was so obvious that any argument to the contrary does not even need to be considered.
It was a chippy weekend of baseball in the American League, apparently. On Saturday, the Twins and Tigers got into a benches-clearing fracas after Matt Boyd threw behind Miguel Sano and Sano responded by slugging James McCann in the face. The crew at Bless You Boys argued that Sano should have “simply worn” the pitch and gone to first. The folks at Twinkie Town clearly disagreed.
It’s easy to glance at the altercation today and say Miguel Sano started the fight, but if you look at it, he really didn’t. In fact, I think Sano’s reaction to the entire deal was totally justified, and as a Twins fan who’s been waiting to see more fire from the team, I’m not at all upset. I’m actually glad Sano stuck up for himself.